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What Is Bypass Surgery?

Bypass Surgery: Types of Bypass Surgery

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Updated June 05, 2014

My doctor has recommended bypass surgery which I thought meant weight loss surgery, but he says it is a heart surgery. Can you explain this?

Bypass surgery is a common term used to describe two very different types of surgery. The first is a heart surgery, formally known as Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery. This surgery is performed to “bypass” blocked arteries that feed the heart, allowing the heart to receive the blood it needs to function. You may also hear this procedure referred to as a CABG, pronounced cabbage.

Some types of weight loss surgery are also referred to as bypass surgery. Weight loss surgeries that decrease the amount of calories that body can absorb by “bypassing” part of the small intestine fall into this category. Roux-en-y is an example of this type of weight loss surgery, as is the duodenal switch procedure.

For More Information About The Human Heart & Heart Surgery

Sources:

Bariatric Surgery For Severe Obesity. Consumer Information Sheet. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. March 2008. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/gastric.htm

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/cabg/cabg_whatis.html

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